AMU Vice-Chancellor to HRD Minister Smriti Irani: BJP event on campus may mean trouble

Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University has warned of communal tensions in the campus if the BJP proceeds with plans to celebrate the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh on December 1 at the campus gates, say reports.

AMU Vice-Chancellor to HRD Minister Smriti Irani: BJP event on campus may mean trouble

According to reports, AMU vice chancellor Lt Gen (retired) Zameer Uddin Shah has written to union HRD minister Smriti Irani and has warned about the possible ramifications if the celebration goes ahead as planned. However, Shah did not mention the names of the parties- neither the BJP, which has planned the event, or the Samajwadi Party, which has opposed it in the letter. Shah has reportedly warned that the political games played out by “certain elements” might be detrimental to peace on the campus.

An excerpt of Shah’s letter to Irani reads, “In view of the threat of disturbance from these people, claiming to be affiliated to various political parties/outfits, another political outfit opposing them joined the fray and announced that they would not allow the rally to be held. This political gamesmanship, if allowed to proceed, has potential for serious trouble”.

The controversy started after Uttar Pradesh BJP’s president Laxmikant Bajpai announced plans to celebrate Jat king Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh’s birth anniversary on campus. According to him, the king had donated land to the university during his reign. Some local and state BJP leaders had recently claimed that AMU was built on land donated by Raja Mahendra Pratap but AMU authorities “failed to acknowledge his contribution”

“Some elements are threatening to hold a demonstration on the grounds that Raja Mahendra Pratap donated large tracts of land for establishment of AMU and should be honoured accordingly. We have always acknowledged that the Raja did lease 3.04

acres of land to AMU in 1929 at a rate of Rs. 2/- per annum. We are proud of this freedom fighter. However, there were a large number of other donors and the main campus of the AMU was built on a land procured from the British government originally belonging to the Aligarh cantonment,” Shah said.

The Vice Chancellor said that in order to defuse the situation, they had agreed to hold a joint celebration on Raja’s birth anniversary “On November 25, at the instance of some ex-servicemen of this district, who offered to mediate, I held a meeting with representatives of some outfits who are threatening to hold the demonstration.The idea was to defuse the situation and we agreed to hold a joint celebration of the Raja’s anniversary”.

However, the decision to observe the anniversary has now been revoked due to reports that there are internal differences within the group which was holding the protest, he said.

The Students Union at AMU has also said they shall not support or allow any programme to be organised by the “BJP or the RSS” at the campus on December 1. The union had earlier supported the programme which was to be held at the Tikonia Ground in Aligarh.

Posted by on November 28, 2014. Filed under Education, Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.